Mother caught trying to flush pet monkey down the toilet spared jail

Drug-dealing woman who tried to flush her pet monkey down the toilet and filmed herself offering it cocaine is spared more jail time after police saved the animal during drugs raid

  • Vicki Holland kept a marmoset in her semi-detached home in Newport, Gwent
  • Videos were found on her phone by Gwent Police after a drugs bust at her home
  • They show her offering cocaine and trying to flush the animal down the toilet
  • Holland, 38, was banned from keeping all animals for life after pleading guilty  
  • WARNING: Distressing content.

A mother-of-four caught trying to flush her pet monkey down the toilet and offering it cocaine has been spared jail. 

Vicki Holland, 38, kept a pet marmoset, native to tropical forests in Central and South America, in her semi-detached home in Newport, Gwent. 

A court heard the primate was ‘terrified’ of Holland and that she was aggressive towards the pet.

She provided an inadequate environment and an inappropriate diet for the animal’s needs. 

Holland was banned from keeping all animals for life after pleading guilty to three Animal Welfare Act 2006 offences at Newport Magistrates’ Court today. 

A mother-of-four was caught on camera offering cocaine to her pet monkey (above) and then trying to flush it down the toilet

Vicki Holland, 38, kept a pet Marmoset, native to tropical forests in Central and South America, in her semi-detached home in Newport, Gwent

A court heard the primate was ‘terrified’ of Holland and that she was aggressive towards the pet. Pictured: Vicki Holland

The monkey’s treatment was shown to the RSPCA after videos were found on Holland’s phone by Gwent Police following a drugs bust at her home.

One clip showed Holland laughing as she tried to flush the animal down the toilet as it clung to the rim.

She can be heard swearing at the monkey and telling it to get out of the toilet. 

Holland threw toilet paper at her pet and called it an ‘idiot’, before flushing.

Another showed her offering cocaine and saying ‘Want some cocaine? Lick my fingers,’ while the monkey cowered in the corner of a storage unit.

Holland informed the RSPCA that she had sold the marmoset a week earlier, but the marmoset was later found at another address.

The court heard the animal was ‘terrified as a result of her aggression and abuse whilst it was within a toilet bowl’.

It was signed into the care of the RSPCA, before being transferred to specialist primate experts at Monkey World in Dorset for ongoing and appropriate care.

Holland was banned from keeping all animals for life and given a 12-week jail term, suspended for 12 months.

She must also pay £420 in costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

The court heard the animal was ‘terrified as a result of her aggression and abuse whilst it was within a toilet bowl’

She provided an inadequate environment and an inappropriate diet for the animal’s needs

Holland (above) was banned from keeping all animals for life after pleading guilty to three Animal Welfare Act 2006 offences at Newport Magistrates’ Court today

Are marmosets legal to own in the UK? 

It is technically legal to own a marmoset in the UK, but the RSPCA are campaigning against primates as pets and for the governments of England and Wales to change this.

RSPCA inspector and exotics officer Sophie Daniels said: ‘I was immediately and gravely concerned about the welfare of this marmoset when I saw these disturbing videos.

‘Videos from the defendant’s phone showed Holland offering the marmoset cocaine, while another showed the clearly terrified marmoset down a toilet bowl.

‘Holland was shouting, swearing, laughing and at one point in the clip, the toilet is flushed, showing the petrified animal struggling to cling onto the side of the bowl.

‘An independent vet soon confirmed that the marmoset was suffering unnecessarily as a result of the way she had been treated.

‘We’d like to thank Gwent Police for their assistance in this case, along with Monkey World who have provided a forever home for the marmoset. 

‘Thankfully, this monkey is now getting the care they deserve after such shocking mistreatment.’

The RSPCA say marmosets are by far the most common primates being kept as pets.

However, the RSPCA is ‘totally opposed’ to the keeping of any primate as a pet because it is so hard to meet their complex needs in a domestic environment.

The RSPCA is ‘totally opposed’ to the keeping of any primate as a pet because it is so hard to meet their complex needs in a domestic environment (stock image) 

RSPCA senior scientific manager Dr Ros Clubb added: ‘Sadly our inspectors see monkeys cooped up in bird cages, fed fast food and sugary drinks, deprived of friends of their own kind and suffering from disease as a result of poor care.

‘We fear many are suffering behind closed doors because people do not know how to look after these animals properly.’ 

Animal rights charities, including the RSPCA, have campaigned to make primate ownership illegal in the UK.

Martin Fidler Jones, RSPCA Cymru campaigns manager, said: ‘Primates are highly intelligent animals with complex needs that can’t be met in a home environment. 

‘However well intentioned an owner may be, they are not suitable as pets.

‘We are concerned as to whether there is a growing problem in Wales of primates, like marmosets, being kept as pets.

‘We believe the time has come for the Welsh Government to act, and want to see an outright ban on the keeping and trade of primates as pets in Wales.’

Holland and her partner Russell Cox (left), 43, both admitted possession with intent to supply a class-A drug at Newport Crown Court

Holland previously appeared in court in May this year where she was ordered to pay more than £4,000 over a hidden cocaine haul found in Kinder eggs after police raided her house.  

Holland and her partner Russell Cox, 43, both admitted possession with intent to supply a class-A drug at Newport Crown Court. 

Cox, from Cwmbran, south Wales was jailed for 30 months and Holland was jailed for 20 months, suspended for two years in November last year.

A Proceeds of Crime hearing was told the couple made almost £40,000 from their cocaine business.

Cox made £31,904.46 from drug dealing but was left with just £180 which can be seized in available assets.

She was ordered to pay back the money within three months or face three months.

Marmosets

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